THE LONG ROAD.

A guest article from Kate Ferguson who was an activist in the Linn By Election not the candidate as stated in this article earlier. Evidence of how confused I have become since being around 4000 miles away. My apologies to Kirsty Fraser who was the Alba candidate and who fought a very energetic campaign.

The long road

There has been a fair bit of despondency on Twitter over the last couple of days around the Linn by-election result for Alba. Some question whether Alba is the right vehicle, or just diverting the energies of some of the most active pro independence campaigners. Might we, some ask, not be better off inside the SNP, pushing from within? The below screenshot is typical.  It deserves a longer, more considered response than a Tweet.

First, it should be stated that many now within Alba did try to change the SNP from within. In 2019, when Chris McElveny was booed and shouted down for daring to talk about independence at conference, when it became clear democracy in the SNP was being removed and cliques devoted, at best, to other issues being manoeuvred into the NEC. Those attempts were met with bullying, hostile actions, withholding information from people the members had elected to NEC and bringing back the leadership clique via opaque and non democratic means. No one now in Alba left with anything but a heavy heart, and a few high profile ones were brutally forced out. Many were the longest term SNP stalwarts and campaigners. 

So, that out the way, we are where we are.

And where we are now is in a position which most countries find themselves at some point on the road towards independence. Alf Baird has written about it extensively around post colonial theory: the period where a country is close to independence, and the dominant pro independence party find an accommodation with the coloniser. 

There is a parallel to where we are now in Ireland, which Craig Murray recently blogged aboutwhen discussing whether or not Alba should field candidates in the next UK general election, assuming it is not a plebiscite for independence. It’s worth quoting a section from that here:

The Irish Parliamentary Party of John Redmond was even more dominant in Ireland than Sturgeons SNP is in Scotland. In 1906 just two of its MPs, like the two Alba MPs we have now, deserted as a result of lack of progress towards Home Rule. One retired at the next election and one stood and was defeated as a Sinn Fein candidate in 1910.

In the 1910 election the Redmondites continued to be utterly dominant electorally, taking 78 Irish MPs to the Unionists 27. Sinn Fein got nil.

But in the course of just 8 years, by the 1918 general election, Sinn Fein had 71 Irish seats to the Redmondites 6. Simply put, people worked out that the once triumphant Redmondites were not serious about Independence, and they switched to a political party that was. The Redmondites changed their name to the National Party, and quickly descended into irrelevance.

For those of us who wanted independence yesterday, or at least before Brexit, this is a depressing thought. If we have to build an entirely new pro independence party, this is the kind of timescale we are looking at. With the best will in the world, and leaving aside the fact Yes voters should be a lot more aware of how our voting systems work and less susceptible to propaganda, new parties do not emerge over night. They do need time to build, establish themselves, gain trust.

So (leaving aside SALVO and possible left field routes that may not involve direct parliamentary democracy) there appear to be two potential outcomes from here:

The first is that we are all wrong: the SNP are fully dedicated to independence and will deliver a workable route. This may be a referendum, or a plebiscite, or some other secret plan we are not aware of. It may even involve groups outside the SNP (who are, bear in mind, the governing party, with day jobs, surrounded by the UK civil service) doing the real ground work while the SNP tinker away lulling the unionists and civil service into a false sense of security. Whatever the method and route, this belief – that the SNP will deliver independence – is one most yes voters still hold. It is entirely possible they are right and we are wrong. That needs to be acknowledged rather than berating people and shouting at them to wake up. Most people do not follow the intricate details of politics and political parties and are turned off by both them and in-fighting. 

The second possibility is we are right and this SNP have zero intention of delivering and may, indeed, be working against independence. In this second scenario, there are two sub-possibilities. One is that Scots really aren’t that interested in independence and don’t have the stomach for the fight it will need. In that scenario, the voters will shift back to unionist parties, or forever accept an SNP which is no different to Labour, and keep voting for a mixture of them and unionists to sit in Westminster being ignored and pilloried, while Scotland is robbed of its resources and tied into the union. If that is the case, there is really nothing much Alba, the independence movement or anyone else can do. We would have to accept we had a fantastic flowering of confidence and democracy in 2014 then the UK successfully destroyed it after Brexit, at the very best time to deliver independence, interest petered out and everyone went back to not caring. If that is the case, Scotland is probably better off not independent and we have to accept this.

The second possibility in this scenario is that the independence movement and upsurge in support for independence was and remains very real and there is a genuine, abiding, settled will emerging that we are a country and we do both want and need independence. My gut feeling is this is the case rather than that depressing first scenario. If this is the case, then the parallel with Ireland becomes very real and a stark illustration of what will be needed.

If Scotland genuinely wants independence, and if the SNP really has sold us out and has no intention of delivering it, at some point the voters will crack, as they did in Ireland. And as Alex Salmond said in his powerful speech in Dundee, ‘political change can happen very quickly at the ballot box’. But it can only happen if there is an alternative. At that point, if and when that shift happens, we absolutely need there to be an alternative party in place. And we need that party to be one that has already done the hard slog of building itself up, doing the ground work, and taking all the toxic bile and smears those who really don’t want it there throw at it. One which has the people, the expertise, and the experience to very quickly put well considered plans into place, and which has a mountain of resources ready to go. 

Now maybe that is not Alba. Maybe there is some other party like that out there which might emerge instead. But I don’t see it – do you? I see in Alba a party which has the bulk of the SNPs previous activists and leaders, key players in the independence movement such as Commonweal, SSRG, Alf Baird, Richard Murphy, and even the SNPs own currency research group feeding into its policies. Ans a power of work and resources being developed.

So by all means be disappointed Alba didn’t do better in Linn – though bear in mind it did raise its vote share by 33% and it was a turn out of 23.3%. But also take heart in that, on the ground, Alba had all the activists. I didn’t see a single SNP activist on a polling station (I didn’t visit them all, but it was a comment people from other parties also made: loads of Alba, and a highly diverse bunch as well; no SNP).

If all Alba does is push the SNP to act on independence and prove us wrong, that will be a success. And if a genuine independence campaign happens next year, we will all get behind it and it won’t matter which party, if any, the activists are in. That would be the best outcome (assuming we win) for delivering independence quickly. If that doesn’t happen, and we really are paralleling the Irish route, there is nothing to be despondent about in still being a fringe party at this stage. If that’s the path we’re on, it is a long path but building that second party is absolutely a necessity. Had Sinn Fein given up after their first total defeat and losing the two MPs who defected to it, where would Ireland be now? In all likelihood, not an independent country. This, of course, is what the enemies of independence want – for any new alternative party to give up in depressed despondency. (And you can bet the Redmonites had their own Pete Wisharts, deriding, goading and spouting hatred at Sinn Fein).

So take heart and keep building. And share the Irish example: if people – Alba, SNP, Green and non party – want to expedite the process so it doesn’t take another 20 years to achieve independence they have two options: push the SNP to get it done or start voting for and supporting viable alternatives faster than Ireland did. 

MY COMMENT.

I remember Kate writing a previous article on Yours for Scotland that got a very good reaction from readers. She is right,creating a new political party takes time. It took the SNP more than a decade to win their first seat, which they only held for a matter of weeks and then decades before they won another one. I would not be “leaving aside “ Salvo or Liberation.Scot. Both are close to releasing and campaigning on an explosive story that will enrage and energise Scotland into fighting for Independence like nothing before. Can’t wait!

I am, as always

Yours for Scotland.


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31 thoughts on “THE LONG ROAD.

  1. When the voter turn, they turn quickly, and there needs to be a place for them to turn.

    Voters turned from the Irish national party en masse to Sinn Fein a century ago.

    The SNP usurped Labour just over a decade ago as voter turned their allegiance.

    And, the voters will turn again. It took a long time for the SNP to become the dominant party in Scotland and a very short time for Labour to lose their dominance.

    Change therefore can come quickly. Quicker than folks often realize.

    Alba may well be that vehicle to occasion change. Or it may be the voice on the shoulder that forces the SNP to change. And make no mistake, if the rump of those left in the SNP do not change, bums, and currently comfortable bums will be swept of their seats.

    Sturgeon is sitting on a party in collapse and where the members have gone, the voters will follow.

    I’m not dissapointed by this result and the result for Alba. But Labour walloping the SNP backside, albeit in a very low turnout where nearly eighty percent didn’t vote is a message to the SNP.

    Liked by 16 people

  2. Excellent article.

    I tried from the inside. I tried hard from the inside and then I accepted that the SNP is a Murrell business now. The purpose of the Party is to maintain the Party and reward the loyal and obedient clique.

    At the first Alba conference I met dozens and dozens of activists who once knocked the doors every week to promote the Party of Independence. We believed that was the SNP, and it was, until the Party machine HQ decided that was not in their personal interest. The reality is that the SNP demonstrated that a narrow group of people can take over a Party with ease IF the rules are amended to accommodate them.

    However I still look back at the YES movement of 2012-14 and remember that grassroots energy. I remain an Alba member but I do not want any Party to lead our Independence drive OR to dominate Holyrood.
    I want to see an umbrella movement with supporters from ALL Parties. Sturgeon has shown me that any Party can become the problem instead of the solution.
    I do not want Party Politics debate on EU, NATO, EFTA, GRA or anything else. I want 100% focus on attaining Independence because that is the first step. Nothing else can follow without that.

    THEN, AFTER that step we elect at least a dozen different “Scottish” Parties who will achieve degrees of success on the basis of their manifesto.

    The single dominant Party is currently dictating the shape of Scottish Society WITHOUT any effort to obtain the one key factor that is needed – INDEPENDENCE

    Liked by 17 people

  3. We are where we are, a better place than the SNP where when I joined them 37 years ago. Then we had they were similar, most activists, better campaigns, stronger argument. However, they continually lost to Labour. Many now in the NuSNP only know ‘winning’ and despite their claimed mass membership, they have less activists than they did prior to the Referendum.
    As the article says, many leading activists have come over to Alba and the NuSNP are going the same way as Labour.
    It is no longer the radical party. It is no longer the party of the people. It is no longer the party of Independence.
    Instead of settling up, they have settled down. Like Catalunya, we need an alternative Independence party to ‘ hold the SNP’s feet to the fire’. ( It ain’t the Greens!).
    The momentum is with us. The activists are with us. The camaraderie is with us.
    The results will be with us if we continue to work hard together.

    Liked by 15 people

  4. This was an excellent article which needed to be written and should be read by everyone who is feeling disheartened by the Linn election result. I speak as a 68 year old, life long supporter of the restoration of Scotland’s self-determination. It took the SNP well over half a century to deliver the referendum, it has only taken them eight years to become new Labour mark two. Alba must continue. This is a long road. I’ve been on that road since, at eighteen, I cast my first (wasted as I was told for many years) vote for the SNP back in 1972. I’m going nowhere. Alba has excellent, experienced members and we saw the activists on the ground during Kate’s campaign.
    The British Establishment got a bloody nose in 2014, they are not going to see their last, lucrative colony wander off down the road to happy ever after. Those who believe in, and work towards an independent Scotland need to be ready to withstand whatever they throw at us. That includes an alternative party to the SNP. I’d also encourage readers to sign up to Salvo and liberation.scot. Whatever way it comes, independence will be achieved by the people of Scotland who see clearly just what we are fighting for.

    Liked by 20 people

  5. Thanks for posting that good piece of writing by Cath Ferguson.  However, she wasn’t the candidate in the Linn by-election.  That was Kirsty Fraser.  I should know, because I was the election agent.

    Bill Craig

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Hello. Fergie_Kate here. Just to say I was not the Alba candidate – that was the excellent Kirsty Fraser. I just helped out a bit on the ground.

    Liked by 4 people

  7. The morning after Indy ref I had to drive the long way round to Oban and was utterly depressed listening to the results on the radio. The girls were taking down the Yes shop so stopped to thank them for their efforts and told them how I felt. One gave me a hug some bits from the shop and told me to have a few drinks over the weekend as on Monday we start to destroy Labour. I left with a Spring in my step and she was right as a few short years and Labour were toast and the same can happen to what is left of the SNP. The buzz around Oban in the run up to the vote was special and just hope we can rekindle that energy next time round.

    Liked by 10 people

  8. A good article by Cath Ferguson but we do need a little shot in the arm.

    That won’t be provided by the ‘verdict’ of the UK Supreme Court which will be announced in a couple of days, whatever its ‘decision’.

    However, perhaps the “explosive story” that Iain tantalisingly refers to and teases us with will give us a boost …

    Liked by 11 people

  9. To those disappointed in ALBA’s share of the vote, don’t lose perspective. The disappointment is NOTHING besides the disappointment which the SNP has become.

    You’ve also got to remember another thing; in my old argument about Scottish Red Sovereignty and Westminster White Sovereignty, the entire charade currently being played out before our eyes is evidence of White Sovereignty running riot and ruling the show.

    We have a “white” FM who has turned her back on the Claim of Right and holds the 1998 Scotland Act (a Westminster Act) as superior to Scottish Sovereignty. We have a “white” Holyrood institution which recognises the colonial Scotland Act as it’s gospel. We have undue respect being shown towards a Section 30 Agreement which dares to subjugate the will and voice of the Nation’s sovereign people. We have a Court of Session and Faculty of Advocates who have already forfeited a massive degree of Constitutional integrity by recognising the very existence of UK Supreme Court, and a Lord Advocate representing Scotland’s interests who herself doesn’t believe in them herself.

    The “game” is rigged. We are playing in the sandbox of White Westminster Parliamentary sovereignty where ALL the moving pieces are white, and we have abandoned the obdurate truth that Westminster is NOT sovereign over Scotland. We are playing the game where all the rules of the game have been written by Westminster, and those going along with it have already capitulated on the principle. This application to the Supreme Court is pure theatre; “….the show’s the thing wherein they’ll catch the focus of the electorate”. … And what a show it is.

    Scotland’s Sovereignty is not white, but red; the pigment picked to represent the blood inside the veins of the ordinary Scottish people. Sovereignty inside the Realm of Scotland belongs to the Community of the Realm; the people. It is red, not white.

    Scotland’s Constitution recognises that Red Sovereignty. The Claim of Right recognises Red Sovereignty. SALVO has both feet planted in Scotland’s Red Sovereignty. King Charles III has just sworn fealty to Scotland’s Red Sovereignty. So where the hell has Holyrood “positioned” itself? Fkd if I know.

    ALBA needs to remember which colour it fights for, and NOT be duped by the false charade of a devolved assembly who’s heart and soul is white and which recognises London as the source of it’s power. That is no “Parliament” of Scotland. This white system will always work to defeat and overthrow the red sovereignty of Scotland. That’s why it exists!

    Holyrood is a paradox. It’s the crossover point where an institution and venue codified and paid for by Westminster, meets an assembly of parliamentarians elected to office by the sovereign people. The institution may be white (arguably), the Scotland Act is White, (although even it pays lip service to the Claim of Right), but Scotland lies outside it’s jurisdiction, the MSP’s which sit inside that institution are red, – or properly should be. They are the delegates of sovereign Scottish communities. They are GOVERNED by the Claim of Right, but currently there’s not a single one of them acts like it. They all line their pockets, and sup their porridge with the white spoon they’ve been given.

    Wednesday is a FARCE. Judgement day? November Fools day more like. It matters not a whit what the White Supreme Court says about a White Holyrood staffed with white charlatan MSP’s who have all forsaken the red Constitutional Sovereignty of Scotland; and damn them all to Hell for it.

    Westminster is already celebrating it’s victory on Wednesday, because all the dumb f”*!s in Scotland have swallowed the colonial encroachment of Westminster Parliamentary Sovereignty hook line and sinker, and now dutifully obey the rules which Westminster tells them to follow. Rebels? There were none to be counted. NOT ONE.

    Here’s your motto for a white Holyrood, courtesy of Samuel Adams;

    “If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen..”

    Here’s your motto for a red Convention of the Estates, courtesy of the Declaration of Arbroath;

    “Yet if he should give up what he has begun, and agree to make us or our kingdom subject to the King of England or the English, we should exert ourselves at once to drive him out as our enemy and a subverter of his own rights and ours, and make some other man who was well able to defend us our King; for, as long as but a hundred of us remain alive, never will we on any conditions be brought under English rule.”

    Enough of this Holyrood / Supreme Court Pantomime. It’s high time Scotland took the Constitutional initiative.

    Liked by 16 people

    1. Agreed. I am fed up with the whole nonsense. I have seen good potential politicians for future as well as some who have tried their best despite everything however the fact of the matter is if those politicians or potentially future ones are not signing up for Liberation then I am not going to be trusting that they have the Scottish people and our countries best interests at heart.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. There’s lots of people who are working for the good of Scotland in different ways but the truth is when you have had your heart broken by the people who you were proud to lend your support and love to in order to send them to London to stand up for our country and people well talking about things is no longer suitable. You if reading this have let us down and no matter what you write in your media articles against people like us that believed in you. You are responsible for the tears of many. If we count in terms of energy the amount of people who have been let down and the universe was to revert this back to you, well…

        Liked by 4 people

  10. “ I would not be “leaving aside “ Salvo or Liberation.Scot. Both are close to releasing and campaigning on an explosive story that will enrage and energise Scotland into fighting for Independence like nothing before. Can’t wait!”

    I truly hope there is a better and faster way. And if there is, a combo of those two groups and Alba are likely to be the key.

    One thing I also left out of the article are my massive fears the SNP & U.K. gov will work together to either hold and throw an indyref next year, or otherwise stitch Scotland into a hideous new devolution settlement that kills indy. In that case, another route will be a necessity.

    Liked by 13 people

  11. This is an excellent article ,laying out clearly a framework for the way ahead.It’s very brave to write such an article after what must have been considerable personal disappointment.I think Kate is right in saying that many people support the status quo of the SNP because they have been well and truly soothed and duped by the SNP leadership’we know best strategy’! As indeed we all have been! It is interesting for me to see the impact of Alf Baird’s theories of colonisation / de-colonisation begin to take root in the Alba end of the Indy movement-not so much in the SNP but I am sure that will begin to happen.When I read Doun Hauden it was like a bomb going off in my head and I haven’t stopped considering its aspects since then. Well said, Kate-a mature and brave estimation of where we are at!

    Liked by 9 people

  12. Apologies to Cath! Wondered about the name! I agree- I think that Indy will come about by a combination of Alba, Salvo, liberation, SSRG and all the loyal SNP members who hang in there because they believe it is important to keep the SNP going although they have rumbled the leadership. There are many great theorists and activists in Scotland who only get heard through the bloggers like Iain, Roddy and others.The SSRG conference in Dunfermline was a revelation to me because the the wide range of talent it brought together. It is that sort of gathering that gives me hope for the future!

    Liked by 9 people

  13. Excellent, well-written article.
    ‘‘political change can happen very quickly at the ballot box’. But it can only happen if there is an alternative.’

    While I detest the continued inaction, blatant lack of intention of SNP, I’m excited by the alternative.

    On another matter; I found myself having to travel via Queen St station last week, a smart and very modern facility that has the unfortunate blight of a plaque, commemorating the opening of the new station, by sturgeon. She loves herself, doesn’t she? Pretentious, stuttering arse that she is.
    I like to think independence is an inevitability, regardless of how long this may take. I also like to think that in our independent future the young, genuinely independent minds of our Scots Parliament will agree to remove every instance of this bogus administration’s narcissistic ‘jam’ from public view. I like my country clean.

    Thanks, Kate, and Iain.

    Liked by 6 people

  14. An excellent article. Both you and Kirsty Fraser will be names that Alba will not forget. You both fought good fights and have increased Alba’s share of the vote. Well done.

    Liked by 6 people

  15. Thanks for your informative article Kate and I can confirm that neither Kirsty or myself came across a single SNP activist when we were out together on a morning tour of the polling stations. However, at Castleton Primary School, we did have a friendly chat with the SNP candidate (Chris Lang-Tait) who said he would be putting in an all-day shift as that’s where he had been a pupil. He lives locally and his daughter attends nursery school there.

    As a voter walked across the playground towards us, Chris whispered that we should leave this first-time voter to him… it was his husband. Gracefully, Kirsty and I bowed-out from canvassing on that occasion… please forgive us ALBA! After that vote was cast, we all carried on our conversation and, on parting, agreed we would get together again… come the Referendum.

    It was evident to me throughout the Linn campaign that voter apathy would be the real winner on polling day. At just over 23% turnout, that leaves about 75% who need to be motivated to vote for SOMEBODY. Public transport is poor in that suburban Ward and many residents I met had mobility issues. Activists be warned; it’s a gie hilly constituency as Alex, Kenny & Neale found out!

    Speaking subsequently with Bill Craig (Kirsty’s election agent) I learned about AV’s (Absent Voters).
    Whilst leafleting in Carmunnock, I had chats with several postal voters (all Unionists). To me it seems there’s a great opportunity for ALBA to encourage disillusioned folk to vote by post. Our opponents are doing it with their committed supporters. Turning out on a dreich November day is not everyone’s cuppa tea. Especially it seems, ladies who lunch.

    Maybe some folk won’t turn out at polling stations because they are a bit intimidated by ‘running the gauntlet’ of activists. All I ever say is “Thanks for voting today” then wait for them to talk, if they want.
    Labour had a heavy presence at St Fillans; so much so folk were crossing the road to avoid them.

    On a local election day, I hae ma doots aboot deavin the neebors wi’ Alex’s strident tones from a car speaker. Maybe if ever there wir tae be a Referendum (not haudin ma breath ’til Wednesday), the Corries blastin-oot would be OK.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. “On a local election day, I hae ma doots aboot deavin the neebors wi’ Alex’s strident tones from a car speaker.”

    I have doubts about that generally. A lot of people now work nightshifts and odd hours. A lot more potential to piss people off than win them over, with that imo. One to one conversations are the way to go, but it does take time. I met Chris at the count and he seems a good bloke. I really do mourn the togetherness we all had in the SNP and wider yes movement in 2014. The divisions have been very deliberate and will continue to be so if or when there is any referendum campaign.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks Cath; I know for certain that my son was VERY pissed off when his 18-month old daughter was woken by our canvassing. That cost me an evenings babysitting on the Friday! Really no penance… she’s such a darling.
      In conversation with Chris O’tSNP, I discovered that he too believes that Sunny Govan is the Centre of The Universe. If proof of that truism were required, on the Saturday before polling day I was paired up with a lassie who had worked with Govan Initiative during the same time my business was located there. We hadn’t seen each other for decades so it was great to be out canvassing together. The Joy of Elections; there’s a book to be written about that!
      Building bridges with good guys like Chris is important if we are to shorten The Long Road. Here’s hoping our high opinion of him doesn’t blight his career with ‘She Who Must Be Obeyed’

      Liked by 2 people

  17. btw, I didn’t have time to contact Iain and change the article, but I did share it with the tweeter it was in response to before it was published here, to check he was OK with using his tweet as a jump off point. He sent this message: “Morning, if it’s useful, I’m quite happy for you to add a wee bit at the start saying that I was more than happy for the post to be used as jumping off point for discussion.” Adding it here instead…

    Liked by 3 people

  18. I don’t really see what the big difference is between Alba’s stated route to independence and the SNP’s current stated route to independence. Is there a difference?

    There is another possibility to ponder: Alba may be a hobby-horse for Alex Salmond’s ego. Seriously, I don’t see Alba electing a different leader until he goes to seed. Would anyone even challenge him? Another cult of personality (that personality being the most unpopular politician in Britain)? Is Alba’s policy still first-vote SNP in Scotland? What would happen to their to their 90 votes if all those voters heard that their policty for climate-change intervention is to privatise it?

    Like

    1. Sorry Mr E but you are talking nonsense. ALBA is no Alex Salmond cult, I have little doubt that if Alex felt his leadership was detrimental to ALBA that he would resign the leadership – he has form in this regard – remember ?

      Liked by 6 people

    2. I joined Alba largely out of my respect for and admiration of Alex Salmond. The greatest Scottish politician of his time, the man who lived up to his mandate and got us to within touching distance of independence, he was only brought down by the complicity of rivals whom he had thought of as friends and who I hope will one day pay the price for what amounted to a crminal conspiracy. They must not be allowed to win.

      Liked by 3 people

  19. I’ve been living here for 7 months, having been a regular visitor in my 40 years in Britain. I am not sure how you measure political unpopularity but I can assure you that Johnson, Kwarteng Truss Rees Mogg Hancock and co are pretty unpopular as is the ghoulish Blair who is regularly paraded across our screens on the airwaves and in print. Alex Salmond is head and shoulders above all of these people as a politician strategist and communicator and importantly that almost extinct quality these days unwavering principle. There is absolutely no doubt that he is committed to independence and if he honestly believed he was an impediment in achieving that, he would step aside. But there seems to have been a huge vacuum of leadership in that arena; forgive me for thinking the only thing occupying the Scottish government’s collective mind is letting creepy guys with bad makeup use the ladies’ loo. Oh and the guys in charge of defence and foreign policy sucking up to NATO and enjoying the company of various dark money funded right wing Washington think tank personnel.

    Liked by 6 people

  20. Really good article. The first world war may have had an accelerating effect on the decline of Redmondites & rise of Sinn Fein – the Easter Rising and how the empire dealt with it surely had a similar effect. However I think that things change faster in politics now than a century ago so that might have a foreshortening effect on the timescale. We need to understand which of today’s trends will have the same effect as the first world war on the necessary shift away from the SNP’s current devolutionist / collaborationist strategy. Will it take the decapitation of the party ? – I sincerely hope so because that can be done on a shorter timescale than the alternative, complete destruction of the party as happened with the Redmondites

    Liked by 5 people

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